As more expat and Qatari women enter the workforce, the demand for nurseries within the office is rising, with educators, professionals and government officials supporting the push, local media reports.
In the absence of a loved one at home to care for small children, workplace nurseries allow mothers to work productively because being able to check on their infants gives them peace of mind, Dr. Fadwa al-Jendi, professor of sociology at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, told Al Raya.
The least favorable option, educators say, is to leave small children with maids who are not trained to take care of them.
Gulf Times reports:
Maids may mistreat children while parents are away. Many such problems have popped up in different countries,” (al-Jendi) explained.
However, she believed that the creation of such workplace nurseries would not decrease dependency on maids as this has grown to be a social and psychological trend in the society as a consequence of the economic welfare.
When Central Municipal Council member Sheikha al-Jufairi, the sole woman on the council, first raised the idea of setting up nurseries in the workplace, the CMC rejected the notion as infeasible.
When she raised it again in February, a heated debate ensued, with some saying the presence of children in the office would derail productivity.
But more officials appear to be coming around to the idea, with the majority of CMC members voting to continue the discussion.